KOTA KINABALU - A three-year-old boy is missing after the pick-up car he was sleeping in was driven off.
Low Yee Sheng, 31, left his son in the vehicle with the engine running next to a petrol station to use the toilet at 5.50am yesterday.
He found the vehicle later but the boy, Low Min You, was nowhere to be seen.
The father of two was walking back to where he had parked the vehicle when he realised it had been driven off.
Low immediately alerted the police, who eventually found the vehicle abandoned near the Atkinson Tower parking area in Signal Hill here at 9.30am, about 2.5km from where it went missing.
The boy was not in the vehicle or in the immediate area.
The police mobilised a canine unit to search for Min You. He was wearing a blue shirt and green shorts when last seen.
Low, who is from the peninsula and works as a CCTV installer, had apparently returned home at 4am. He has been living in Sabah the last six years with his Sabahan wife Yong Siau Yee, 26.
Initial police investigations showed that Low had left their home in Telipok, just outside the city, at 5am with his son after a quarrel with his wife over his drinking habits and late nights.
When met at the scene where the vehicle was recovered, the distraught father said he was in a state of shock.
"I left my son in the car because he was sleeping. I took less than five minutes at the washroom," said Low.
He told reporters that he had come to the Kg Air area in the city to check into a hotel.
Kota Kinabalu police chief Asst Comm Jauteh Jikun said they were looking at all angles into the incident and the search for the boy was continuing.
Later last night, a Michelle Lim (believed to be the boy's mother) posted on Facebook a RM20,000 (S$7,730) reward to anyone who finds the boy.
"Please don't spread rumours, cause that will cause us pain. Thank you so much," she said in the post.
At press time, there has been no leads on the boy's whereabouts or the people who might be behind it.